THE SCOUTMASTER’S OTHER HANDBOOK FROM THE AUTHOR
Why I Wrote The Scoutmaster’s Other Handbook
by Mark Ray
I must admit that it’s awfully presumptuous of me to write a book for Scoutmasters. After all, the Boy Scouts of America has published nine editions of what’s now called the Scoutmaster Handbook since 1913. All told, those editions comprise an imposing 4,416 pages of Scouting wisdom from the likes of William D. Murray, E. Urner Goodman, and William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt.
And then there’s Robert Baden-Powell’s 70-page Aids to Scouting (the world’s first handbook for Scoutmasters), which intentionally avoids presenting many program ideas but focuses instead on “the objects of the steps”—the whys of Scouting, if you will, instead of the hows.
So why write The Scoutmaster’s Other Handbook? Three reasons, I think. First, today’s Scoutmaster Handbook focuses primarily on the needs of new Scout leaders, a trend that began with the 1972 edition and continues to the present. Second, the Scouting program and the world around it are changing rapidly. (Who would have imagined ten or fifteen years ago that we’d be talking about starting troop Web sites or sending meeting notices by email or banning videogames and cell phones from camping trips?) Third, in some two decades of adult Scouting, I’ve come across hundreds of ideas that are simply too good not to share.
If you have the time, of course, you can find great Scouting ideas in many places—from roundtable meetings and training courses to books and Web sites. My goal is to save you a little time by bringing together the best of those ideas in a single book.
No book on a subject as big as Scouting can ever be considered definitive or complete, but I truly believe that The Scoutmaster’s Other Handbook can help you manage your troop, maintain your sanity, and make a difference.
This book gets a NetCommish five arrowhead rating for providing a extraordinarily useful guide to Scoutmastering that compliments existing Scouting literature well. The book is organized into easily understood sections, each brimming with useful and helpful information that can help every Scoutmaster — from newly recruited to aged veteran. This is a Scouter’s book for Scouters.
After an introduction to Scouting’s purpose and methods, the book is organized into the following major areas:
- The Annual Troop Program
- High Adventure
- Troop Meetings
- Adult Leaders
- Junior Leaders
- Troop Administration
This is one of those few books that needs to be in every Scoutmaster’s and Commissioner’s library. Don’t miss the opportunity to add this one to your own Scouting library.